Mr Boles announced he would resign the Conservative whip on the floor of the House of Commons in an emotional speech to MPs on Monday. Speaking directly after the second round of indicative votes, Mr Boles said: “I have given everything to an attempt to find a compromise that can take this country out of the European Union while maintaining our economic strength and our political cohesion.
“I accept I have failed. I have failed chiefly because my party refuses to compromise.
“I regret, therefore, to announce that I can no longer sit for this party.”
One MP could be heard shouting: “Nick, don’t go. Come on.”
MPs voted today on their preferred Brexit options for a future relationship with the EU after Brexit in a series of indicative votes.
The MP for Grantham and Stamford had lost his motion for a Common Market 2.0 by 282 votes to 261.
The motion called for an enhanced Norway-style deal which would include membership of the EU’s single market as well as a customs arrangement with the EU.
MPs also voted 276 to 273 against the option tabled by Ken Clarke, which called for any withdrawal agreement and political declaration to include at least a customs union with the EU.
It was selected as one of four options by John Bercow for the ballot paper for indicative voting, and had been defeated by just six votes in last week’s first round of voting.
The final two motions for a confirmatory second referendum was lost by 292 to 280, and parliamentary supremacy motion by 292 to 191.
Brexit Secretary Stephen Barclay told the Commons the default legal position is the UK will leave the EU on April 12 and to secure an extension, Britain must provide a “credible” plan.
He added if Westminster is able to back Theresa May’s deal this week, it would still be possible to avoid European Parliament elections starting on May 23.
Mr Barclay said the Cabinet will meet tomorrow morning to decide how to prove.